The HD800 & HD800S thread

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by sorrodje, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. paranoidroid

    paranoidroid Friend

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    I listen to a lot of electronic music as well and have the HD800 (new) and HE1k. I also used to own HE500, HE560 & HE6. We'll see what I think after I have the HD800 for a while and adjust to it. Right now I definitely prefer the HE1k & HE6 for electronic music - mostly because of the much better sub-bass extension. It's sorely missed on the HD800. The HE6 is missing the soundstage and layering of the HD800 and HE1k. And the HE1k is missing the slam of the HE6.

    Out of the box, the HD800 are superb for acoustic and instrumental music. Even better than the HE1k I think, due to more attack. However it was hard to listen to anything else with it due to quick fatigue with the thinner sound signature. Until I did a version of the Anax 2.0 mod on it yesterday, I can now keep them on my head longer than a few songs ;)
     
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  2. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    @paranoidroid : Could you please remind us what's your Amp and dac ?
     
  3. paranoidroid

    paranoidroid Friend

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    Right now the ODAC & O2 amp. In the past I've had the HRT Streamer II DAC, Valhalla and Mjolnir. I'm more of a solid state guy and after extensive comparison, I've actually found the O2 to be just as good as anything else in the solid state realm so the other amps went, especially since I didn't need the power for HE6 anymore.

    One thing I'd like to do is compare the ODAC with the Bifrost Multibit loaner and see if I prefer it with the HD800 as well as try other amps since the HD800 impedance curve means it reacts more with different amps. However I've listened to the HD800 many times with many setups and I've always thought the same - bright and thin compared to what I preferred for electronic music. I picked up the HD800 recently to own because I found a good price for a new pair and I want to see what I can do with modding. My goal was to use it as a lighter alternative to the HE1k for gaming, or long working sessions. The HE6 & HE500 were too heavy, and I wanted to keep the soundstage and imaging capabilities of the HE1k in a lighter format.
     
  4. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    OK . Understood why there's so much difference for you. As I already said , I haven't that much issues with the lack of bass extension here. But I don't use my O2 for my HD800. I tried the pairing during several weeks recently in september and it's not something I recommend.. at all.
     
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  5. paranoidroid

    paranoidroid Friend

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    I'm going to start testing the HD800 with other amps (I wish I had my previous amps back just to compare). Based on my experience with all my previous headphones & amps as well as listening to the HD800 many times on many amps in the past (although without owning) I seriously doubt the difference will be huge but I'm open that the O2 could be a big problem.

    I'm more thinking mods will make the biggest difference. Putting wool felt on the driver ring and plastic trapezoid made a slight but noticeable difference for the better.

    I'm coming from HE500/HE560/HE6/HE1K so from that perspective, I really never expected the HD800 will match up to my preferences for electronic music and really got them since I wanted lighter headphones and after HE1K it's hard to compromise on soundstage and imaging - which the HD800 is superb.
     
  6. paranoidroid

    paranoidroid Friend

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    Tyll's big sound headphone writeup is out. The HD800 ranks #1 amongst participants and #2 for Tyll. For Tyll it's outranked by the HE1K.

    In the video he has at the bottom of the article, he says the HD800 are "unlistenable unless you put the modification in it". I was going to stick with my HD800 unmodded for as long as possible, but that didn't last long for me :D Still, it's a superb showing for one of the oldest flagships.

    I completely agree with his assessment of the HD800 and HE1K. It's interesting he put the Abyss last. I've heard them twice and besides the fit, I didn't find the sound appealing at all due to the withdrawn midrange.

    http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/big-sound-2015-finale-headphones
     
  7. NoStream

    NoStream Acquaintance

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    I'm a monster who actually enjoyed them unmodded. I think there are likely dozens of us. But I did end up EQing them eventually, and then modding.
     
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  8. johnjen

    johnjen Doesn’t want to be here but keeps posting anyways

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    I've seen a few Senn generated 800 FR curves that don't seem to have as 'strident' a HiFreq peak.
    Perhaps that is part of this?

    JJ
     
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  9. Maxvla

    Maxvla Friend

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    My HD800s have never been modded, and I listen to it from a Ragnarok, which has been stated as perhaps being too honest. No treble issues here.
     
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  10. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    In November we should make a point to compare our HD800 and measure on my BlockHead(TM) system.
     
  11. paranoidroid

    paranoidroid Friend

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    I didn't have an issue with treble on it with well mastered music, or with acoustic / instrumental. They sounded great. It's once I get to my normal listening staple of electronic music where I felt the need to look at the mods.
     
  12. johnjen

    johnjen Doesn’t want to be here but keeps posting anyways

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    Along with a few other 'investigations' and results of other 'experiments'.

    JJ :thumb
     
  13. johnjen

    johnjen Doesn’t want to be here but keeps posting anyways

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    To me that sounds like electronic issues, both the source (dac) and the amp.

    Electronic music contains a fair amount of odd order harmonic content and some electronics can have a 'harder' time with these sorts of harmonic series.

    As has been noted previously, 800's are VERY reflective of the signal sent to them.

    JJ
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  14. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Seems Tyll loves the relaxing soft sound of the HE1K although I dislike those aspects but even if our tastes are different, I can fully understand where he comes from. As usual , great work from Tyll. As i wrote in the review of my BEta HE1K a few month ago, I understand how people could love it but personaly I wouldn't spend 3K in a headphone that exhibits so so imaging capabilities ( I'm a HD800 nut for good reasons) and smoothen all my music. A 300€ a HD650 does a wonderful Job when I want to relax or listen to some music I can't enjoy with my HD800.

    For Classical and most Jazz, I've no issue with the stock HD800 but I still work on mods because it gives more room to play with different amps and dac .

    For Electronic music... it"s a bit different. A lot of those music are heavily compressed and exhibit low quality treble. With any headphone of my stable I can hear it. With the HD800 ( even modded . I use rugliner only for now) it's unlistenable, with the HD650 , it's OK .
     
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  15. johnjen

    johnjen Doesn’t want to be here but keeps posting anyways

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    I agree with you regarding the HE1k's sonic signature.
    It was pleasant, smoooooooth, and initially intriguing.
    Like whooooa this is different.
    But it lacked the very fine/minute inner detail, which is what sucks me into the music with its complex tonality interaction.

    But not engaging/involving nor 'fascinating' enough to where I wanted to continue to listen to it, what with the 800's sitting within arms reach.
    So back into the box went the HE1k's

    JJ
     
  16. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

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    This is what makes me voice-coil dynamo-head too. :bow:
    Music sounds more real, though at times less fun.
     
  17. johnjen

    johnjen Doesn’t want to be here but keeps posting anyways

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    Yeah I know what you mean.
    When I ran tubes there was this 'magical' quality to the music that was captivating and oh so satisfying.
    Except, (you knew there was going to be a counter point, right?) it proved to me, at the time, that this was an artificial 'layer' of sorts.
    Yeah it was fun and captivating and almost bigger than life, sort of.

    So now I'm going in the polar opposite direction, towards maximum detail, but not just in a FR sense or in the resolution etc. but in ALL ways.

    Like, tweaked acoustical power transfer, lowered resistance - everywhere, maxed ac power delivery, etc.
    All in the hopes of not needing that tube euphony but still wind up where the music is captivating and as I call it IMPERATIVE.

    I'm closing in on it.

    As for the voice coil driver/dynamo motor…
    It's still mighty crude but it does do some things that taut membranes have much more difficulty with.
    And visa versa.

    But on balance, especially when you eliminate the need for long excursions, ie. in headphones, they can be quite satisfying.
    And 800's are the best example of pistonic action I can think of.
    Really what other single voice coil can do 5 to 50KHz?

    JJ
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  18. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Reducing the excursions has all kinds of positive benefits; lower distortion, greater linearity, etc. A contributing reason to why I prefer listening at 75 ~ 78 dB SPL rather than 83 ~ 90 which is more typical. Then there are those listeners that demand very high SPL between 95 and 105 dB. Of course, to hear details at 75 dB levels also requires a very quiet listening environment which is not practical for many.
     
  19. jsgraha

    jsgraha 30% of my portfolio is magic beans - Friend

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    Regarding hd800 and he1k, I like them both. I have he1k for 3 months so far, and I continue to like it (even appreciate it more now than before). What being said so far regarding its weakness, I agree with most of its said shortcoming and sort off put them as a different perspective of listening music.

    I also still put hd800 as a better HP to he1k. But for my preference, I prefer he1k to other HP that I had a chance audition, including 007/009 and lcd which I used to own.
     
  20. johnjen

    johnjen Doesn’t want to be here but keeps posting anyways

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    Not to mention the major reduction in IM distrotion.

    Having 1 driver deliver the entire audible spectrum, with a few notable exceptions, usually results in craptastic SQ.
    Unless the excursion (and a few other tricks) are brought into the equation.

    It would seem that Sennheiser is well aware of these tricks… :nod

    JJ
     

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